Giving of all we are and have
Stewardship is discipleship… following Jesus. Everything we are and have are God’s, entrusted with us to share and to help build up the Kingdom of God.
The beginning of stewardship is how we give back to God, through God’s mission in the Church. It includes participating in the ministries of the church, and sharing our passions and time. It also includes giving financially to God’s mission through the Church.
Giving to St. Francis normally takes five forms:
- Annual Giving
- Special Project Giving
- Memorial Giving
- Legacy Giving
- Capital Giving
Annual Commitment or Pledging
As members of St. Francis, we make annual commitments to God’s mission through this community. Normally, we discern these during the fall, and make a commitment for the following year. So, in the fall of 2015, we discern how much we will give in 2016.
These commitments are based off of what we know when we make them. In the course of year, something might change. We might lose a job, or have to take care of an adult child or parent. We might get a bonus, or a large raise. These commitments can be changed through the year. Simply contact the office to do so.
Making an annual commitment helps us give our first fruits to God, as opposed to what’s left. Through online giving, you can arrange to have these gifts made at the beginning of each month, prioritizing God’s work above everything else.
The Standard of giving is 10% of our gross income, which we call the Tithe. The tithe is based in Scripture, as early as the Book of Genesis.
The Tithe is a sacred practice. God’s love for us is absolute, and how much we give to the Church has no impact on it. But the Tithe is a way for us to reorient our financial resources to God’s work, putting God first. The Tithe is a way of giving thanks for the abundance that surrounds us.
If you aren’t giving the tithe, challenge yourself to increase your giving to the church by 1% or .5% of your income each year. After several years, you will be at the 10% level.
Special Project Giving
Throughout the year, St. Francis has various fundraising events and drives for various causes. Whether raising funds for an outreach project, a youth pilgrimage, or other ministry needs, these funds are above and beyond what we give through our annual giving (pledging).
Giving funds to God’s mission in the Church in memory of someone is a wonderful and holy way of honoring the life of one we see no longer. Memorial gifts can be given for specific ministry wants or needs. They can be given soon after a person’s passing, or years after. Please speak with our clergy, who can help identify something that will speak to the life of the honoree, and within the guidelines of our gift acceptance policy. The clergy will then take the proposal to the Vestry for acceptance.
As we plan for the end of this life, leaving provision for the Church in our plans is important stewardship. There are a variety of means of doing this, from leaving a part of your estate, to making the church the beneficiary of a life-insurance policy, to leaving real estate. We are currently working on establishing a legacy society, which will provide more specific guidance in this area.
In the meantime, please consider including the church in your plans. Unrestricted bequests are always the most helpful. Alternatively, a bequest to our Operating Endowment will allow ministry through St. Francis to continue for years to come.
From time to time, St. Francis has a “Capital Campaign” to fund facility expansions and improvements. We do not currently have a campaign. However, there are many facility needs that have been identified, and leadership is in early stages of investigating how to address these. Please speak with our Priest-in-Charge Under Special Circumstances, Paula, or our Associate Priest, J.R., if you might be interested in funding these early stages.
Facts and Figures
All the facts and figures of our income, expenditure and budgets, can be found in the 2014 Annual Report – issued February 8th, 2015.